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|Mainstream Press becomes aware of Local Search|
US News & World Report
|In about a year, Yahoo! alone launched services that hunt for videos, pictures, travel deals, local information, and even files buried in your desktop hard drive. |
But the future could be specialized sites, many of which are adding their own tricks to finding information on the Web.
Limitup - I just read your last post and I am wondering what you or anyone else following this thread considers "relatively accurate" I know what we consider accurate and what my customers consider accurate but what does everyone else consider accurate. What percentage outdated, what percentage not listed after how much time and what percentage in the wrong category amoung other benchmarks?
I realize that alot of companies out there are in this in hopes of being bought up by the bigger players so bells and whistles count along with quantity over quality but in the meantime at what level should we hold ourselves as far as the accuracy of our data?
dh - I hear you. I don't have the answers. That's what the guys who run TL, and others like them, are trying to do now. The thing is, they aren't going to openly come out and tell you how they do it. That is their competitive advantage, and their only chance to shine, should they figure it out.
Impressive acquisition TL guys ... no guts no glory.
[edited by: limitup at 6:37 pm (utc) on Nov. 30, 2005]
I agree, interesting aquisition. It will be interesting how it works out.
Who's best interest is it to have accurate data on the web?
My guess is the actual business owner.
Business owners double check YP data, IYP data, Newspaper data, etc about their companies.
Eventually (and many do now), checking online data and giving away enhanced info to make a sale will be part of the usual business data checking process.
Right, but only when they feel it's worth their time to do so. Until they start getting traffic to their sites, and visitors to their stores, via "local search" methods, they won't be willing to do this. The local search people are going to have to figure out how to please the searchers without the help of the business owners - at least in the beginning - because businesses aren't going to "participate" in the whole local search thing until it's proven.
I've solved many of the issues raised in this thread on my site. Unfortunately the solution is not scalable and requires plenty of manual effort on my part.
My site is an industry-specific local directory. My information is accurate because businesses pay me to be listed, and they get a reasonable flow of business from me, so they have a motive for their keeping data current. I send them a newsletter by email, so I know when their email address is bad because the newsletter bounces back to me.
I build each listing by hand and it contains plenty of detailed information that may or may not be found anywhere else. I take information from websites, text and images given to me by business owners, and I massage it all to make it unique and hopefully somewhat better.
The big search engines treat my site as an authority. Sending people to my site insures that they are giving solid relevant results, which is what they want to do. I provide plenty of good hand-edited material to work with and as the more globally-focused search engines come to understand that, they give me higher rankings and more traffic. They can't duplicate what I have, but they can benefit from it by linking to it.
I'm not getting rich at this, but I'm making a living and I can sleep well at night knowing that it will be pretty tough for a global/national site to put me out of business by providing better results than I do. I live in the area that I cover and am deeply involved in the industry that I focus on. I am active in trade associations, give daily local industry news coverage, and am pretty well-known here. It was my intention to build a strong wall against competition and I think that I've been successful at it.
people/users/consumers are using the internet more and more, as opposed to newspapers and yellow pages to find local things for need and research driven purposes.
the majority of local businesses are small businesses.
the majority of all advertising is local advertising.
the internet is condusive to targeting within a locality.
local search provides for a new form of local advertising.
advertiser dollars are migrating to the internet.
the marketplace is huge - 10s of Billions.
data cleansing, business content aggregation, and display strategies are born and collide
new pricing models are developed
old local advertising players need to develop new compentencies to adapt.
a new breed, facilitator marketplace, as well as an opportunistic organic marketplace, of often times, pragmatic pure plays and idealistic local providers, are rapidly developing to fufill a demand.
confusion is prevalent.
yet like with any market, it will ultimately mature and standards and traditional market driven business rules will soon apply and consolidation will occur.
an organic local internet marketplace will remain viable, however ~especially given the nature of the medium and people like surfin2u.
regardless, right now, change is required and opportunity is being quickly created.
we call it local search.
but really is just internet marketing.
really it is just marketing.
if you want to only talk about local search in the context of yahoo local or google local then i would advise one to revisit your first college marketing book.
local search is simply a form of seo and sem ~ marketing tactics and vehicles. while we have dappled in the wild west exhuberance of generalist seo for the past eight years, we must be wise the fact that a mature internet serves when it can mimic and augment daily behavior which is inherently local.
we can talk local in the form of domains, apps, directories, targeting, web sites, profiles, reviews, ratings, proximity, authorities, iyps, segmentation, sme's, mapping, social networking, clicks, data, automation, scale, newspapers, classifieds, yps, phone calls, off-line conversions, mobile, aggregation, on and on and on. it is all happening now. it is all viable.
if one treats local search as a discipline in the distance then they will miss the boat entirely. recognize that local search is local advertising which is the majority of all advertising and one may be more productive tomorrow.
local search belongs in every forum on this site.
it belongs in every session at a conference.
it shouldn't be used as a concept in a vacuum within some topical and tactical thread on WebmasterWorld.
everyone here has an aspect of their business which is directly affected by or related to a locality.
welcome to local search. we have been waiting for you.
I want to add that there is a global aspect to type of local search that I offer. My local industry-specific directory site ranks high for many industry keywords without any regional or local specification in the search. This provides my advertisers with a way to reach the global marketplace and I do get many happy reports from my advertisers about inquiries from other regions and countries.
Just to throw it in, local.com was bought for $700,000 back in March.
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